Jay Mohr (born Jon Ferguson Mohr) is an actor, standup comedian, and radio and podcast host probably best known for his work on network TV series such as Gary Unmarried, The Ghost Whisperer, and Saturday Night Live, where he did a popular impression of Christopher Walken. Also finding steady work on the silver screen, he had his breakout film role with 1996's Jerry Maguire. The performer got his start in show business as a standup comedian, and has released multiple one-hour specials.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Mohr took to the field of comedy at a young age and performed his first standup set as a 16-year-old. He went on to work the comedy club circuit for several years, honing his skills and making a name for himself in the scene. Meanwhile, he won a recurring spot in a series of interstitials for ABC called ABC TGIF in 1992, and got his first regular sitcom role the same year on the short-lived Camp Wilder. In 1993, still in his early twenties, he was offered a coveted featured-player slot on NBC's Saturday Night Live. He stayed with the show for two seasons, during which time he struggled with panic attacks, as he later detailed in his 2004 book Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live.
Many regular, recurring, and guest TV roles followed, including playing Wayne Foxworthy on The Jeff Foxworthy Show in 1996. That year, he also appeared in the Cameron Crowe film Jerry Maguire, where many will remember him as double-crossing sports agent Bob Sugar. That led to parts in films like Picture Perfect (1997) with Jennifer Aniston, Doug Liman's Go (1999), and Pay It Forward (2000) starring Kevin Spacey. Back in television, Mohr hosted the reality competition show Last Comic Standing from 2003-2006, a series he co-created. Other TV highlights included playing Professor Rick Payne on The Ghost Whisperer (2006-2008), the title role on the sitcom Gary Unmarried (2008-2010), and Steven Royce on Suburgatory (2011-2013).
In the meantime, Mohr published a second book, 2010's No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad. He also made regular contributions to radio, most notably as a guest host on sports program The Jim Rome Show. In 2013, he took over the show's time slot on Fox Sports Radio as host of Jay Mohr Sports. He also hosts a podcast titled Mohr Stories.
Never giving up on standup, Mohr recorded a one-hour standup special, Funny for a Girl, which debuted on Showtime in 2012. In it, he spoke candidly about marriage and fatherhood, as well as doing several crowd-favorite impressions, including Walken and Joe Pesci. He followed it with Happy. And a Lot. in 2015. Written by his wife, actress Nikki Cox, it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2016. ~ Marcy Donelson